We are about a week away from the WOMMA Summit (Get info and register here) and it still blows me away the delta between brands that are on the bus and actively embrace the discipline of word of mouth and those that see it as a sideshow at best.
Earned media, advocacy, enthusiasts, brand fans – all of these are the brothers and sisters – sometimes twins – of word of mouth. And social media, the king of Google search results when it comes to sparkly, must-master-disciplines is driven by word of mouth. In fact, at Social@Ogilvy, we have codified the ‘Principles of Social Design.’ These are drawn from our own experience and provide a checklist for what causes people to share. One of the two pillars include the Drivers of Word of Mouth. Our success applying new social behaviors and technologies have everything to do woth word of mouth - earning people's attention and advocacy. We really cares about social media because of the way that it can scale word of mouth.
Hear great brand stories
The WOMMA Summit will revolve around real work – just what brands are doing to sell more, build ore supporters, engage customers to the point where they advocate or buy more and so forth. Real stories towards real business results. The staff of WOMMA have been refining over the years how they accept cases and sessions. You really must have a disciplined story to tell with clear results to earn a slot on the agenda. That means there is less chance for any of us realizing halfway through a session that we are not getting true trench stories.
- Kimberly Clark will tell the story of Huggies tying product innovation to community good
- Visa will share about cutting through the clutter of the Olympics via social
- TurboTodd will talk about IBM’s conviction in social business (hallelujah, brother)
- Jackie Huba – one of my favorite people in our space – will let us peek into the world of Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters “movement”
- Pete Blackshaw from Nestle will tell us about his intense first year+ inside the world’s pre-eminent marketer and lessons learned
- Patagonia will reveal some of their storytelling chops and making social “core” to how they communicate
- And so much more….
Yes, I served as the President a term or two ago and yes, Ogilvy remains a governing member. But my bias comes from my conviction that the WOMMA community is on the right track for how brands must transform how they build relationships with customers.
Enough with the “Social Business” business, already
I am leading a session on what it means to trade up to a social business strategy. Guess what, it means less and less today. The more I and others champion the concept of CEO’s embracing their inner Tony Hsieh or Jon Iwata and articulating an explicit strategy for their company to implement social technologies and behaviors in a wholesale change program, the more I realize this is not the way things are going.
Few C-suite executives will see “social practices” as its own business priority. Don’t get me wrong, I am still wildly in favor of it. I think there are few “future-proofing” strategies executive leadership could benefit from more than pushing the collaboration and communication benefits of social practices.
But the trick is not building belief in ‘social business.’ Too many executives think its all just fuzzy logic. We are in a back-to-basics mindset foisted upon us by a stifled global economy. Now, our time is better spent building belief that there are new ways to strengthen what we already value. Like the notion that listening to our customers and stakeholders ever more closely can lead to insights on how to serve them better or that enabling our most vocal supporters can actually drive sales.
Join me for my session as I plan to call on the audience of brand marketers as much as share a POV that I hope most will find useful.